Panaji, March 30: Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has said that he was irked by some people, who prefer to violate the 21-day lockdown to buy something as trivial as a shampoo.
Sawant, whose administration has been criticized for triggering panic in Goa, due to chronic non-availability of essential goods in grocery stores across the state and the requisition of central forces to impose the curfew, said that the Central Industrial Security Force was pressed into service not to “punish people” but to maintain law and order in the state.
“Those who need to step out to buy essential goods for the house, one person from the family should step out and buy it. We have seen that people even leave their homes during the lockdown to buy shampoo,” Sawant told IANS on Sunday.
“This is just not necessary. If rice in the home is over, one can step out and buy it, but to step out just because you have no shampoo…! I have seen this,” Sawant said, while justifying his decision to impose the lockdown and at the same time to keep grocery stores open for 24 hours.
The Chief Minister also justified pressing in the CISF (he had earlier stated that the CRPF were being roped in) into law and order duties, even as videos of jawans of the central force beating people with sticks and publicly making them perform ‘frog jumps’ went viral on Sunday and triggered outrage on social media.
Sawant said, that the CISF had not been requisitioned from outside the state, but the personnel had been drawn from the central force’s unit stationed in Goa.
“The CISF has not come from Delhi. They were posted in Goa itself. We did not get them to punish people, We do not want to harass people. Law and order must be maintained,” Sawant said.
The Chief Minister also said that those buying essentials were not the central force’s radar at all, and added that the CISF would help rein in the menace of youngsters going on on joyrides on two-wheelers during the curfew.
“Unnecessarily youngsters take bikes out for a ride on the roads. If someone is out to buy milk, essentials or medicine, it is ok, but youngsters should not step out, because they may bring back coronavirus to their families,” Sawant said.
In a statement issued on Sunday, in relation to the viral videos of assault by CISF personnel, Inspector General of Police Jaspal Singh said, that the central force should not be judged on the basis of an “isolated incident”.
“CISF is a thoroughbred professional force. People are requested not to assess the force by the action of an overzealous man for being harsh on two persons. I just want to reassure people that from an isolated incident people should not form their opinion about CISF,” Singh said.